South Africa Honors Photographer Who Took Iconic Soweto Picture

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA-South African President Jacob Zuma will honor photojournalist Sam Nzima, who took the iconic picture of Hector Pieterson, the first child to die in the Soweto student uprisings of 1976. Zuma will bestow on him the Order of Ikhamanga which is given to journalists, athletes and entertainers who achieve excellence. CBC reports:

Working as a photojournalist for daily newspaper The World, Nzima was assigned to cover what he thought would be a peaceful demonstration by black students protesting an order that Afrikaans be an official language taught in non-white schools. An officer ordered the students to disperse and, when they began singing instead, the police began firing on the students.

Nzima witnessed a boy shot and picked up by another youth, who began to run away with the boy in his arms.

The photographer was able to snap six images of the scene before he and another newspaper colleague rushed the injured child to a clinic. There, the young Pieterson was pronounced dead. Hundreds of black students were killed in ensuing incidents across the nation.

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